12 Dear friends, don’t be bewildered or surprised when you go through the fiery trials ahead, for this is no strange, unusual thing that is going to happen to you. 13 Instead, be really glad—because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterwards you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory in that coming day when it will be displayed. (I Peter 4:12-13 TLB)
The times we manage best in crisis are the times when we realize they are to be 'expected' - they aren't unusual. The other day my daughter wanted to accomplish so much and her morning didn't start out so well. She wanted to wash the car, but the car wash didn't clean it very well. When she wanted a refund or another wash, she was denied. Her car battery died, but was able to be jumped into life again - just long enough for her to make it home and get it changed. She had to wait for the service man to replace it - adding another kink in her plans. Her oil change didn't go as expected, requiring a second trip back to the service place to get them to put the glove box back correctly after changing the cabin filter. Sometimes we might just want to go back to bed instead of dealing with what life sends!
The matters she dealt with seem small to some, for their moments of crisis are much bigger. They expected a routine mammogram, but ended up with a catastrophic diagnosis of breast cancer. They set out to walk home after a night out team-building, only to be left in a life-altering coma and suffering severe brain damage. They went to bed without a worry in the world, but awoke to the screeching of smoke detectors alerting to imminent danger and the loss of all they possessed. Life happens - crisis is NOT diverted - and now we must 'deal'. How is it you 'deal' when crisis comes your way? If you have Christ at the center of your life, you are probably more 'at ease' in the crisis than one who does not, but the crisis still comes.
Our trials may be small compared to those of others, but every trial has a moment of opportunity for us to realize something we might have missed, or been too busy to even consider. If we stop long enough to just 'breathe' in the midst of the crisis, we might just realize how very much we were depending on our own plans to all work out. We didn't imagine other plans may emerge along the way. When our trust is in Christ and our attention is directed toward him first and foremost in each of our daily activities, we may still tend to 'over-extend', but we aren't bound to the frustration of the crisis. We can rise above the crisis, because we live with a confidence that it isn't all about our control, but about his. Just sayin!